Mayhem and Misery – Catastrophic Suffering
Ignorance breeds confusion.
When you lack discipline and a proper understanding of ethics, or turn away from the dharma, from the types of mental states and actions that hold one back from suffering, only disappointment and unhappiness, degradation and mayhem will follow.
To raise a child without a deep grounding in the dharma can only be described as absolutely stupid. Forget what the world thinks. Worldly attitudes are born from a lack of understanding and knowledge. What the world rates as important is often based upon some egotistical and false view of the self, of I and mine.
I remember when I was just about to finish school, looking upon the adult world with a deep feeling of hopelessness. All the people my parents held in high regard appeared to be caught in a vicious cycle of misery. Even though they had attained some wealth and worldly status, not even doctors from the western world appeared to have all the answers to the pervasive type of suffering we were all immersed in. When your parents suffer a brutal failure in their marital relationship, when you are surrounded by people who are only interested in bullying the smartest at school into a state of submission and decline, when there is a lack of adequate role models for the young and the worldly blindly chase after material gains as though it’s the only solution to all of life’s problems, confusion takes hold causing wreckage and an enormous degree of emotional and physical suffering. Without the sword of wisdom to guide one through failure and disintegration of all that is familiar, one is truly as helpless and directionless as a dead leaf blown violently by the winds of change, uncertainty and darkness.
Although I was a straight A student throughout all my years of school, when it came to my final HSC exams, instead of blitzing all the subjects in the manner I had done in the past, I only achieved an average set of results. I didn’t even bother studying in the last week of swat vac. I went out and partied with friends who had already completed their exams.
I’m not proud of that, even though I did still manage to get into a course I was actually well suited to at university. However, the problem was, I fell into an unhappy cycle of regret, having been used to getting near perfect results in every subject. As I have said, a lot can be gained from having a high degree of intelligence, but without a proper understanding and realization of the dharma, of wisdom and compassion, you are still at the mercy of karma and delusions. This means that suffering will continue unless you actually cut the root of suffering itself. The root of suffering comes in the form of a false view of I, of self and of phenomena. Until one fully realizes that all phenomena lack inherent existence and one is able to let go of all negative emotions, one will remain like a bucket travelling up and down in a well, without the proper means to escape the cycle of existence.
Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019
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